THE INDUSTRY ROOM
The Rock Quarry Case
(A sample of the many Keys industries like fishing, sponging,
turtling, cigar making, wrecking, shrimping, farming, boatbuilding, etc.
These will added as time and images become available.)
This page by Jerry Wilkinson
- The WW I Veteran's Quarry -
Shown above was the type of quarrying done
by the Florida East Coast Railway Company. This was for fill rock where as
the following were for slab rock.
An idea of the operations on Windley Key as
of April 1935 can be deduced from the above aerial photo taken at 20,000
feet. Snake Creek is at the top and Whale Harbor at the bottom. The highway
is to the right of the railroad.
Specific dating of the quarries have never
been established except for the World War I veterans quarry which began
in late 1934. Therefore we will present it as if it was the first, however
it probably was not. The first industrial coral rock quarry for use other
than fill was the Plantation Key Quarry to build piers for the Overseas
Highway in 1934. Of course, the railroad and the Overseas Highway contractors
had excavated marl and coral fill in 1906 and 1927 respectively.
This quarry was located on Plantation Key just
north of the entrance of the Venetian Shores Subdivision and also on the
bayside. The railroad passes in between the quarry and the highway.
Another view this time looking north.
The veterans used a wheel type trenching machine to cut the grooves.
Blocks of coral that have been loosened and
lifted out of the quarry. This quarry ceased operation when the 1935 Hurricane
destroyed the work camps.
Continued on Page 2
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